One of the things I like about the Big Island is that there’s so much variety in a relatively small area. It boasts 8 out of 13 possible climate zones (depending on whose definitions are used). It goes from sea level to almost 14,000 feet.
I’m happy to satiate my wanderlust right here on the island, traveling to see the outpourings of our most active volcano, climbing to the windswept summits of Mauna Loa and Mauna Kea, and of course, sweating it out on the coast.
The beaches and surf are hugely popular with tourists, but it’s almost always possible to find a sparsely populated, or even empty beach with a bit of walking. Makalawena, on the Kona coast, is one such spot. It requires a hike in, half an hour or so, but offers golden sand and a number of smaller pockets of sand where a person can soak up some sun and take a dip. Paradise indeed.